Boston.com’s sports writers and editors are offering their take on the upcoming Patriots season and which teams they’d like to see in the Super Bowl. See where they all stand below.
Patriots prediction: 12-4 — The Patriots will likely sweep the AFC East. But with the prospect of elite offenses in Atlanta, Denver, and New Orleans, along with the probability of at least two trap games, fans can legitimately expect four to five losses. I’ll go with four.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Seahawks vs. Bengals.
Patriots prediction: 13-3 — The Patriots will lose at the Bengals and at Atlanta in back-to-back weeks but will lose only once more, at Baltimore, on Dec. 22. The defense and running game will be much improved.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Bengals vs. Falcons.
Patriots prediction: 13-3 — The running game is deeper and more versatile than it was a year ago when it was seventh in the NFL with 136.5 rushing yards per game. The defense, with Aqib Talib on board for a full season and Chandler Jones positioned to improve on a promising but uneven rookie season, is young and versatile and could rank as a top-10 unit. Also, at last check, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have not left the building. The schedule is tough, but so too are the Patriots, again.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Patriots-Seahawks. The Pete Carroll Bowl.
Patriots prediction: 11-5 — The Patriots get most of their toughest opponents on the road (Falcons, Bengals, Texans, Ravens) and even if they split those, there are some tough home games to account for as well (Saints, Steelers, Broncos). The ceiling feels like a 12-4 team, and that’s not factoring in a potential upset in Miami at the end of the season.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Patriots vs. Seahawks.
Patriots prediction: 11-5 — As has been the case in recent years, the AFC East is the Pats’ division to lose. The Bills still stink, the Jets are dysfunctional, and the Dolphins are growing into a contender, but they aren’t there yet. Based on their schedule, the Patriots look like they’ll win anywhere between 10-12 games and I think they’ll land right in the middle after tough contests with the Saints at home, plus road meetings with the Falcons, Texans, Ravens, and Dolphins. Yes, Miami.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Patriots vs. Giants. (Third time’s a charm?)
Patriots prediction: 10-6 — The division opponents will be the easy part of the schedule. The rest of the matchups will be much tougher.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Falcons vs. Broncos.
Patriots prediction: 11-5 — Tom Brady & The Revamped Offense will find new ways to score in bunches, much like the Retooled Red Sox did this season. And a more mature, athletic defense will surprise as the season wears on. Some things remain the same: The Patriots will have their way with the underwhelming competition in the AFC East, but they’ll come up just short of a Super Bowl trip — losing in the AFC Championship game to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Cowboys vs. Steelers.
Patriots prediction: 10-6 — Injury concerns for Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski, an unproven, rookie receiving corps, and a tougher-than-anyone-wants-to-mention schedule might mean a first-round bye is out of the question.
Super Bowl I’d like to see: Broncos vs. Giants. After the annoyance of last season’s Harbaugh Bowl, let’s just get Manning Armageddon out of the way.
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